CHELSEA hope Crystal Palace’s interest in Olivier Giroud will boost their chances of signing Wilfried Zaha in January, according to reports. Zaha saw a transfer to Arsenal fall through during the summer and is now a target for Frank Lampard. Chelsea have handed Lampard a £150million January budget following their successful appeal against their transfer ban.
Palace will demand £80m for Zaha and Chelsea know the Londoners are unlikely to budge on their asking price. Guardian claim Palace want to sign Chelsea striker Giroud in January. Giroud is eager to leave Stamford Bridge having fallen down the pecking order under Lampard. The World Cup winner has been asked to play second fiddle to young star Tammy Abraham and has started just two Premier League games this season.
Giroud is concerned about losing his place in the France squad ahead of the European Championships next summer. Chelsea are interested in Zaha because the player is a seasoned Premier League player and would be eligible to play in the Champions League. Zaha remains Palace’s most influential player despite pushing for a move away during the summer.
Giroud does not want to lose his place in the France squad The 27-year-old is under contract at Palace until 2023 and Chelsea are poised to step up their interest on Zaha. Lampard confirmed this week Chelsea were looking to strengthen their forward department having been unable to sign a replacement for Eden Hazard during the summer.
‘I think it will be a bit fluid and discussions will be ongoing from now about where we can strengthen,’ he said. ‘Of course, with Eden [Hazard] leaving we lost a lot of goals and creation in that particular position.
‘Today we’ve missed some chances and we can look at strengthening and pushing and getting more competition in those areas.’ Chelsea manager Frank Lampard is eyeing up a big name scalp in the Champions League draw.